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These Pumpkin Pie Bars are perfectly creamy and packed full of that holiday flavor. Pumpkin pie filling is poured over a fresh baked shortbread crust baked and topped with the most amazing caramelized pecan sauce – these pumpkin bars are AMAZING!
This recipe was originally published in November 2018. It has been updated with better content and photos.
OMG these bars are totally love at first bite…”she laughs as though she is clever…” But seriously, these are DAMN good. So good.
Buttery shortbread crust, caramelized pecan topping, and perfectly creamy and delicious pumpkin pie filling…what more can you ask for? I can’t think of anything. These are it.
And don’t even worry guys, these pumpkin pie bars are easy to make. I just remade these the other night, and they are sitting in my fridge as I write this listening to them call my name.
So being easy is good and bad…great because it’s easy, bad because now I’m about to eat half a tray of these pumpkin pie bars. My waistline does not appreciate it.
*If you’re just looking for plain old pumpkin pie, check out this awesome Pumpkin Pie recipe from Live Well Bake Often.
Why This Recipe Works
- The shortbread crust adds a rich, buttery component to the bars – plus it’s such an easy crust to make;
- The caramel pecan topping is droolworthy – it may just be the best part of the pumpkin bars;
- The pumpkin pie filling has the perfect mix of fresh pumpkin flavor with warm Fall spices;
- Everything tastes better in a bar form…
First things first, I use fresh Pumpkin Puree, which is super easy to make in the slow cooker. If you don’t feel like making fresh pumpkin puree (it’s super easy I promise) canned pumpkin will work just as well. Just make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling!
Buy the ingredients at the grocery store, or order them through the below Amazon links if you don’t feel like strolling up and down the aisles (affiliate links):
- Vanilla extract
- Pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
Step By Step Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in a food processor, adding butter one piece at a time until a dough forms.
If you and your food processor have had a recent falling out and you are left food processor-less (like someone I know…ahem…me), you can also do this with a fork.
Press dough into an 8×8 parchment lined baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes.
While the shortbread crust bakes, make the pumpkin pie filling. Basically, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
Let the shortbread rest 3 minutes before pouring the pumpkin pie filling on top.
Pour the pumpkin filling over the shortbread and bake for 50-60 minutes, until top is slightly browned and filling only jiggles slightly..
About 10 minutes before the pumpkin pie bars are done, combine all the ingredients for the pecan topping in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and pecans start to caramelize.
Remove the pumpkin bars from the oven and pour the caramel pecan mixture over the top. Put back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
Let the bars cool fully before slicing. I recommend letting them cool on the counter for one hour, then chilling them in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight before slicing.
Once chilled, slice into bars and serve….these are great with fresh whipped cream.
- Be sure to use cold butter when making the short bread crust – cut it in with a fork or just pulse a food processor until combined. Be careful not to over mix or the butter will melt;
- The pecan caramel topping can be omitted if desired, however, I think it’s one of the best parts of this recipe!
- The pumpkin filling should only jiggle a little when done and no longer looks wet on top – it will continue to set as it cools.
- The pumpkin pie filling can be made a couple days ahead of time if desired. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you store pumpkin pie bars? Store these pumpkin pecan bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days for the best results.
- Can you freeze pumpkin pie bars? After you have sliced the bars, place them on a baking sheet directly into the freezer for 3 hours, or until frozen through. Then place them in an airtight container and store for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in a single layer in the fridge and let thaw overnight.
- How do I know when pumpkin pie bars are done? When the filling jiggles only slightly in the middle, and no longer looks wet, the bars are done. They will still need time to set however, and should chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before slicing.
All the Best Pumpkin Recipes!!
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls;
- Curry Pumpkin Soup;
- Pumpkin Souffle;
- Pumpkin Spaghetti Alfredo;
- Pumpkin Scones.
Favorite Fall Desserts
Did you make these Pumpkin Pie Bars? Rate the recipe and leave a comment to let me know how they turned out!
Pumpkin Pie Bars with Shortbread Crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in a food processor, adding butter one piece at a time until a dry dough forms. (you can also cut in butter with a fork). Be careful not to over mix. The dough should be crumbly.
- Press dough into an 8x8 parchment lined baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes. Let rest 3 minutes before pouring the pumpkin pie filling on top.
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, ensuring there are no lumps. Pour mixture on top of the HOT shortbread crust and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until center is barely jiggly and batter no longer appears wet on top.
- Pour pecan topping (see below) on top, return to oven and bake another 20 minutes.
- Remove and let cool fully. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Remove from pan and slice into bars. Serve with whipped cream if desired.
- Heat the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat until butter is fully melted and sugar starts to caramelize; about 3-4 minutes.
- Be sure to use cold butter when making the short bread crust - cut it in with a fork or just pulse a food processor until combined. Be careful not to over mix or the butter will melt;
- The pecan caramel topping can be omitted if desired, however, I think it's one of the best parts of this recipe!
- The pumpkin filling should only jiggle a little when done and no longer looks wet on top - it will continue to set as it cools.
- The pumpkin pie filling can be made a couple days ahead of time if desired. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to use it.